Sleepy/tired after meditation

Mark Christian Lopez, modified 11 Years ago.

Sleepy/tired after meditation

Posts: 2 Join Date: 5/31/10 Recent Posts
After meditation(anapana, vipassana), I sometimes feel more tired and sleepy. Is this normal? Am I doing something wrong?
Dan K, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: Sleepy/tired after meditation

Posts: 33 Join Date: 5/15/10 Recent Posts
If you feel groggy or sluggish afterwards, then it's possible you are doing something wrong and you should describe your practice in more detail. If it's just a desire to sleep or relax, then don't worry - it's normal.
J Adam G, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: Sleepy/tired after meditation

Posts: 286 Join Date: 9/15/09 Recent Posts
One possibility (among many, as Dan K indicated) is simple mental tiredness associated with high levels of effort in the meditation. Also, sleepiness can arise from meditating with the eyes closed, especially when not much light is falling on the eyelids, in a comfortable position. Lying down comfortably on my bed in the dark and following certain instructions for jhana is a surefire way for me to get a nice nap in, because the posture, lack of light, and high concentration (with low effort) leads to sleepiness. So perhaps you could try doing standing or walking meditation, or being in a brighter place, and see how that makes you feel.

Of course, sometimes the sleepiness is simply GOING to happen. You can walk in broad daylight with eyes open and if you're in Dissolution, you might still be tired anyway. Acceptance is quite prudent, especially if Dissolution is actually where one is at. (Not that I'm suggesting that you're in Dissolution; I don't have the details on your situation to tell if this is related to insight stages.)
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Dark Night Yogi, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: Sleepy/tired after meditation

Posts: 138 Join Date: 8/25/09 Recent Posts
I think that meditation induced sleepiness is a natural result of us being naturally accustumed to the constant momentum of mental stimulation. Its normal.

Noticing from my experience, continuous practice is what lessens meditation tiredness/sleepiness & non-routine/ missing out sessions is what makes it worse.

Surrounding yourself with stimulating activity choices to combat sleepiness could be an effective strategy. I.e.
-Have a ball you can bounce around, have a drum or bonggos you can beat on,
-have a selection of Wake-up songs on your mp3 player.
-Hot Tea
-Set your meditation routine/time at a time where your metabolism is high. I.e. after taking a shower? after a walk or commute? after exercise?


useful facts for sleepiness that work for me:

1) when the eyeball is not moving, it means you're not distracted. so, if you pay attention to the eyeball kept still, it will help with sleepiness

2) Shinzen Young suggests: pay attention to face area when sleepy

3) Increase concentration.

4) Stand Up meditation

5) Open eye meditation, best with blank wall

6) Pinching earlobes

7) Dalai Lama suggests: a) Picture yourself in a high place b) Think of the urgency of practice c) Think of the joy of practice

8) My own one-liner: "Be aware of your desperation". (This is when i hear Goenka say 'be aware of your sensation' it sounds like desperation. does he say desperation?) Anyhow, thinking of my own desperation really boosts my motivation.
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Dark Night Yogi, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: Sleepy/tired after meditation

Posts: 138 Join Date: 8/25/09 Recent Posts
Technique-wise:
A big part of my sitting practice has been all about being mindful of the 5 hindrances: Sloth, restlessness, doubt/confusion, Craving, aversion, (& also ego).

Depending on your technique, you may or may not consciously pay attention to this, but if you're extra mindful of "sloth" in particular if you're naturally more prone to it, then you can catch it before it sets in.

What I do when I catch sloth when it sets in but right before it gets too strong is i shift my sitting position slightly by straightening my back

Goenka approach:
Goenka suggests going back to anapanasati & then breathing slightly harder, but thats about it.
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Daniel M. Ingram, modified 11 Years ago.

RE: Sleepy/tired after meditation

Posts: 3199 Join Date: 4/20/09 Recent Posts
Walking meditation is highly under-appreciated and under-utilized. Done well, with strict mindfulness and careful, every-second technique, can be very powerful and builds rather than reducing energy most of the time.

I got some of my most important and interesting insights while walking.